Most experts agree that you should get a water heater flush every three years, or annually if your shower sees the frequent use of an entire family. This will clear the undesirable sediments and dank liquid from the system and replace it with clear, pure water. Here’s how to tell if you need your water heater flushed.

”When you hire a plumber because no hot water is coming out of the kitchen sink faucet, you need to go to the water heater, not the faucet.” - Joe Wurzelbacher

Are You Having Water Temperature Issues?

A water heater flush is always needed for older models
Here's how to tell if a flush is needed. Source: Bobvilla

If you’re noticing temperature issues with your water heater, that could be a sign that something’s going on with the unit. Problems with a water heater are usually hard to diagnose for the untrained homeowner. So if you notice any of the following, call in for service:

  • Water too hot
  • No hot water
  • Water too cold
  • Water takes a while to warm up
  • You get hot water that turns cold
  • You don’t get enough hot water
  • Water heater won't drain

Do You Hear Strange Noises from the Water Heater?

Does your water heater make noise when the hot water is turned on? If you are hearing any strange noises from the water heater, that’s a surefire sign that it’s in need of some repair. The problem that your heater has will relate to the type of noise, and that can be any of the following.

  • Bubbling noise - Air may be entering the water container in your heater
  • Knocking - Something could be rattling around in the unit
  • Sizzling - Water may be dripping on the pilot light
  • Dripping noise - A leak in the system
  • Echoing - Not enough water in the storage unit
  • Dings - Hardwear may be loose
  • Ticking - Pockets of water trapped by sediment
  • Clicking in pipes - Too much sediment
  • Popping - Water boiling underneath sediment
  • Hissing - Pressure issue or temperature is too high

If you hear any of these noises coming from your water heater, get in touch with a pro immediately.

Is the Water Heater Tank Leaking?

Have you noticed if your water heater tank is leaking from the top or bottom? If it’s the top, that means the cold valve may be broken. If it’s the bottom, that may be the much more serious problem of too much pressure building up in the unit. Either way, that merits immediate assistance. Call a professional, they know how to drain a water heater fast.

Do Your Shower and Faucets Take Too Long to Heat Up?

A professional can help with your water heater woes
A pro can move in to assist. Source: Houselogic

Have you noticed that either your shower or your faucet is just taking too long to heat up? Or has the time between turning the hot water handle and actually getting hot water increased noticeably? It might be time for a water heater flush.

Have You Seen Any Dirty or Rusty Colored Water Running?

If you’re noticing any rusty or discolored water coming from your shower, that is a clear signal that something’s amiss with your system. This is probably the most noticeable problem, as you can clearly see the murky liquid coming out of your shower nozzle. Hot water heater sediment symptoms include:

  • Brown water
  • Sediment in the water
  • Black water
  • “Rusty” water
  • Red water
  • Essentially anything that isn’t clear water

If you notice any of these issues, call a pro as soon as possible to get it fixed.

An annual water heater flush is needed for any home. Did you know the cost for services changes based on where you live? For example, in Baltimore, MD it can cost slightly less for a hot water flush than in Plumbing, WY. Want to get a more accurate estimate for free? Get in touch with a homeyou pro near you!

Have You Noticed any Unusual Odors Coming from the Water?

Do you smell something like rotten eggs coming out of your water heater? That could be a problem with bacteria. If your hot water heater smells like sulfur, you’re going to want to call in a professional before your next shower. The buildup of hydrogen sulfide is only dangerous in high quantities, but it might make your coworkers think you smell funny.

How Old is Your Water Heater?

The water heater is a fickle mistress
Make sure your water heater is running smoothly. Source: HGTV

Do you know the age your your water heater? Is it new? Ten years old? Maybe twenty? And when was the last time you had a water heater flush? Fortunately a professional will be able to tell the age of your unit by the serial number written right on it. So if you think it’s as old as your house, you’ll certainly want to replace it.

Have You Ever Considered Having Your Water Heater Replaced with a More Efficient Model?

Last but not least, if your model is an older one, it might save you energy and therefore money to have it replaced with a newer model. A tankless water heater may be able to pay for itself over time. Plus a tankless unit will negate the need for a water heater flush.

When was the last time you had a water heater flush? Get it done professionally so you know it’ll get done properly. Get a free estimate today!

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